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1885 Lighter Spring
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October 25, 2020 - 10:20 pm
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I’ve determined the existing trigger spring in my 1885 Highwall just won’t do. According to Campbell’s book a lighter spring is available for the standard trigger. He says it’s .012” thick at the tip. Anyone have one lying around or know where I can find one? Homestead is out of them, Brownell’s doesn’t seem to list them, WinchesterBob sent me on a bad link to MVA, pretty sure Midway won’t have it. 

 

Mike

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October 26, 2020 - 2:08 pm
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Mike,

You should be able to “lighten” the spring currently in your rifle. Take yours out, measure it, and then start reducing it with some emery cloth.

Bert

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October 27, 2020 - 12:54 am
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Thanks, Bert. Hadn’t really considered that. Need to take it apart and look things over, I guess. I’d rather replace the spring or modify a replacement spring but I’m not seeing much out there. Still puzzled by the ledger notation about the trigger. 

 

Mike

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October 27, 2020 - 2:21 am
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TXGunNut said
Thanks, Bert. Hadn’t really considered that. Need to take it apart and look things over, I guess. I’d rather replace the spring or modify a replacement spring but I’m not seeing much out there. Still puzzled by the ledger notation about the trigger. 

 

Mike  

If you are not sure how to take it apart and remove it, give me call.  What is the serial number on this rifle?

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October 27, 2020 - 1:00 pm
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Bert H. said

TXGunNut said
Thanks, Bert. Hadn’t really considered that. Need to take it apart and look things over, I guess. I’d rather replace the spring or modify a replacement spring but I’m not seeing much out there. Still puzzled by the ledger notation about the trigger. 

 

Mike  

If you are not sure how to take it apart and remove it, give me call.  What is the serial number on this rifle?  

Thanks, Bert. Serial number is 95346. It’s the one you helped me with when I called you from Cabela’s last year. MVA and Wisners apparently have the spring but I’ll take a peek before I start ordering parts. 

 

Mike

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October 27, 2020 - 1:19 pm
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Bert H. said
Mike,
You should be able to “lighten” the spring currently in your rifle. Take yours out, measure it, and then start reducing it with some emery cloth.
Bert  

He won’t live long enough to remove enough metal with emery to make a difference.  I’ve done this several times using a bench grinder, preferably one of the small variable speed ones using 4″ dia. wheels.  I think thinning it from side to side is more effective than trying to reduce the overall thickness. 

Of course, the only way to prevent taking off TOO much is to keep testing it by reinstalling it in the gun, which wastes a lot of time, but is unavoidable.

BUT, before you go to all that trouble, why not call Wyoming Armory & ask if they can provide or make a lighter spring?  Regular price is $60, but well worth it, considering the time you’ll have to spend working on yours.

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October 27, 2020 - 1:45 pm
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Mike,

I suspect that the spring currently in your rifle is not the original one Winchester put in it.  More than likely it broke and a past owner replaced it with a heavier spring.  I would be inclined to take it out and make it thinner a little at a time until you get it the point you like it.

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October 27, 2020 - 4:32 pm
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Good point, Bert. Hadn’t considered the possibility someone installed a replacement spring sometime over the last century or so. Certainly makes sense. Had to work on another rifle last night but should be able to take a look at it tomorrow night. IIRC my Winder musket has a pretty serviceable trigger so may be able to study it a bit for comparison. In fact, I may take it apart first. I haven’t taken a Single Shot apart yet and I’d feel better about learning on that one. 

 

Mike

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October 27, 2020 - 4:46 pm
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Mike,

Be advised that there is a difference between your Sporting Rifle and the Winder Musket.  Specifically, the Sporting rifle is  Flat-spring action whereas the Winder Musket is a coil-spring action.

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October 27, 2020 - 6:22 pm
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Bert H. said
Mike,

Be advised that there is a difference between your Sporting Rifle and the Winder Musket.  Specifically, the Sporting rifle is  Flat-spring action whereas the Winder Musket is a coil-spring action.  

I was kinda thinking that but wasn’t sure. Thanks. Guess I better review that while I have Campbell’s book out.

 

Mike

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October 28, 2020 - 1:37 am
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Good news: the knock-off spring is about .015” thick. Bad news: in many places the black tar is that thick and thicker. I think I found the reason for the crappy trigger! Trigger, knock-off and lower tang were a gooey mess. Also found a filler screw (I think) rattling around loose between the sear spring and the upper tang and there’s an odd part that I can’t recall it’s exact location or determine it’s function. In a couple of the schematics in Campbell’s book it’s called “279SS”. It’s a small, almost square piece with a threaded hole. I took the breech block out for a thorough cleaning but did not disassemble it. I removed the knock-off from the lower tang and a short pin fell out, I think it goes in the front hole of the knock-off. I’ve discovered that I don’t know the correct order for re-assembly but everything’s clean so that’s a good stopping point for the night. I’m thinking some of that gunk may have been there for over 100 years. 

Yes, Bert, I may need a little help getting this one back together.

 

Mike

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October 28, 2020 - 2:39 am
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Mike,

Send me a picture(s) of what you have, including the trigger (knock-off) spring.

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October 28, 2020 - 3:15 am
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TXGunNut said
It’s a small, almost square piece with a threaded hole.
 

The knockoff-spring screw nut.

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October 28, 2020 - 4:31 am
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T

clarence said

TXGunNut said
It’s a small, almost square piece with a threaded hole.
 

The knockoff-spring screw nut.  

That was my thought as well, but many of the knock of springs have a thick threaded base and do not use a square nut.  I would like to see a picture of the spring.

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October 28, 2020 - 12:59 pm
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Clarence is right, I’d forgotten that screw comes up through the tang and needs a nut to secure the spring. Thanks!

 

E84E731D-3935-41F0-9961-3B0D040F2C96.jpegImage Enlarger662F4CB1-95C5-4DAD-BD75-D6CD38AF7C33.jpegImage Enlarger

Thinking about using my ultrasonic cleaner to finish cleaning the wee bits. 

 

Mike

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October 28, 2020 - 2:10 pm
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TXGunNut said
 Thinking about using my ultrasonic cleaner to finish cleaning the wee bits. 

Ever since Big Brother decreed that his subjects weren’t smart enough to use carbon tet, I’ve used lacquer thinner for this purpose, which will dissolve, or at least soften, even cured epoxy. 

When you put it back together, I’d use that super-slick red grease on all moving parts, esp. the full-cock notch.

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October 28, 2020 - 2:18 pm
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TXGunNut said
Clarence is right, I’d forgotten that screw comes up through the tang and needs a nut to secure the spring. Thanks!

 

E84E731D-3935-41F0-9961-3B0D040F2C96.jpegImage Enlarger662F4CB1-95C5-4DAD-BD75-D6CD38AF7C33.jpegImage Enlarger

Thinking about using my ultrasonic cleaner to finish cleaning the wee bits. 

 

Mike  

Mike,

I use 100% pure acetone to clean the crud & goo you are dealing with.  Drop all of the small parts in a plastic tub and immerse them for a few hours.  A nylon brush (old tooth brush) will quickly knock off anything still on the parts after a 2-3 hour soak.

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October 28, 2020 - 2:29 pm
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I’m a big fan of hot, soapy water. I scrubbed with Hoppe’s #9 and aerosol cleaners until I got tired of it last night but wasn’t happy  with the results. Here’s pics of cleanup in progress.

 

8BD473CF-737A-441E-9186-929B7FC16AD1.jpegImage EnlargerD4C49BC1-E954-4B3E-A556-F7ED8E765678.jpegImage Enlarger8633BB4E-616D-4DBA-8000-18C293688B65.jpegImage Enlarger

 

Mike

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October 28, 2020 - 2:31 pm
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For stubborn, hard to clean parts I use Berryman’s B12 Carburetor Cleaner with Toluene (Methyl Benzine).  It strips just about anything off of anything, including paint, lacquer, dried grease, etc. and, as a bonus, it will melt many plastics.  

There is usually no “soak time” with it.  Use in a well ventilated area and keep it far away from the stock and anything painted.

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JWA said
For stubborn, hard to clean parts I use Berryman’s B12 Carburetor Cleaner with Toluene (Methyl Benzine).

Toluene is an ingredient in lacquer thinner, along with acetone.  What I dislike about pure acetone is it evaporates so quickly that if you use it on a rag, it drys almost before you get started.

I use permanent ink markers on certain plastic signs posted at our range that have to be updated from time to time.  Lacquer thinner or toluene will erase the ink completely, leaving not a smudge, but acetone only smears it.

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